Stephen Baum’s The Phantom Speaks, is a charming little sequel to his highly-acclaimed novel One Life or The Lives of Chester Knowles. The Phantom, the novelist’s reincarnation of the deceased Chester Knowles, picks up the ball where Chester left off – and takes us on a literary end-run through the fields of astrophysics, analytical psychology, modern American politics, and also some of the barnyard noises. He’s quite a phantom.
Ably assisted by several of the other One Life characters, the Phantom attempts to resolve several of the more persistent questions regarding Chester’s death and reincarnation. Taking the reader on a mad-cap and irreverent romp, the Phantom and his supporting cast of One Life characters – all of them remarkably well-drawn and charming in their own right – somehow succeed (and don’t ask me how) in bringing the Chester Knowles One Life story to a safe and satisfying touch-down.
Illustrated by the multi-talented artist, Alexandria Skaltsounis, The Phantom Speaks is a delight for all those who leave their rationality outside the door. Caution is advised. This little book reads like a buzz saw. So watch your fingers.